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Harvey Comics History

The story of the Harvey World Famous Comics - founded as Alfred P. Harvey Publications in 1940. The company created by Alfred Harvey (who, at one time, worked for Fox Publications alongside young talents Joe Simon and Jack Kirby) scored early successes through well-known characters licensed from other creators, such as The Green Hornet, Blondie, Terry and the Pirates, Dick Tracy, Li'l Abner, Felix the Cat, and many others. Harvey was eventually joined by his brothers Leon and Robert.

It was in the 1950's that the company acquired the rights to a family of animated characters created by Paramount Pictures for animated short subjects, including Baby Huey, Little Audrey, and a friendly ghost named Casper. In the ensuing years, Alfred Harvey augmented this roster with equally endearing creations of his own - including Wendy the Good Little Witch, Little Dot, and Richie Rich and all enjoyed tremendous popularity among youngsters in their comics (and in theatrical, then televised, cartoons) throughout the 1960s. He also proudly lent the characters to public service announcements for various organizations, increasing their visibility and firmly establishing Harvey Comics as a leader in comic book entertainment.

The original company ceased publishing in 1982, and after a short hiatus, resumed publication in 1986 by Alan Harvey, Alfred's eldest son. Then, in 1989, Jeffrey Montgomery bought the company, renamed it Harvey Entertainment, and republished the old Harvey comics as "Harvey Classics". He struck a worldwide publishing and distribution deal with Marvel Comics; distributed the animated cartoons in every market; sold 20% of the company to MCA, parent company of Universal Studios (which licensed the rights to use the characters in its theme parks); and optioned Casper and Richie Rich for two multi-million dollar feature films that were produced.

Alan Harvey retained the rights to certain Harvey characters such as Sad Sack and Black Cat and has published under the names of Lorne-Harvey Publications and Recollections.

Harvey Entertainment, meanwhile, ceased publishing again in 1994. Montgomery was ousted in 1997 and the company changed names to Sunland Entertainment in 2000, the current owners of the Harvey characters. The licensing of the Harvey characters is currently handled by Classic Media.

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